Sackler, of Purdue Pharma, Gets Patent for Opioid Addiction Medication

Purdue makes new form of buprenorphine

I guess you could say what goes around, comes around. Things seem to have come full-circle in the opioid crisis and it’s not good news. Recently Dr. Richard Sackler, of Purdue Pharma, was given approval on a patent for a new, marvel form of buprenorphine to be used for the treatment of opioid addiction. That’s right, the man whose family owns the company thought to be responsible for the opioid crisis was just given permission to formulate a drug to fight the very thing his family may have helped to create. As if being a pharmaceutical billionaire wasn’t enough, Sackler had to further improve his portfolio. Was it because he felt some sort of responsibility for the havoc Purdue’s drugs caused our society? Or is it just another way to line the pockets of the already rich executives whose wealth was made on the backs of those hopelessly addicted to their drugs?

Dr. Sackler was granted a patent on a new form of buprenorphine, the active ingredient in the brand-name drug, Suboxone. Suboxone has been used for years as a replacement drug for heroin and painkiller addiction, promising to offer addicts some sort of shot at getting clean. Buprenorphine is a partial-opiate and usually comes in dissolving tablets or strips that the patient puts under their tongue to let dissolve. One of the biggest issues when it comes to these formulations is that they take quite a few minutes to melt, so they can be spat out and sold on the streets. What’s happened now is there’s quite a bit of diverted medications on the streets of nearly every major city, with no shortage of buyers. The new type of buprenorphine that Dr. Sackler is wanting to create is going to come in a type of “wafer” form that dissolves very quickly. The thought is that the drug will not only be delivered into the patient’s system faster, but it will cut down on the amount of illegally diverted medications on the streets.

It’s pretty upsetting to think that the Sackler’s are going to get even more wealthy with the advent of this new drug. With multiple lawsuits pending against Purdue Pharma for deceptive marketing practices in the sales of OxyContin, this is a pretty bold move. While the pharmaceutical giant and its notorious family rake in the millions and millions of dollars sure to be made off the sales of this new medication, families around the country are still in the pits of despair after having lost a loved one to a fentanyl overdose that all started with a few innocent-looking pills. There’s nothing right, fair, or okay about any of this and there’s really no words to fully express the utter disdain the public is sure to feel in response. More solutions, not more drugs, are what’s needed to fix the problem drugs caused in the first place. As far as the drug crisis is concerned, there can no longer be the “fight fire with fire” mentality because, thus far, it hasn’t worked.

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Peggy Cote, RN

Peggy Cote is a registered nurse with over 40 years of experience in the medical and addiction field. Her practice has also focused on holistic and naturopathic healthcare, looking toward natural solutions first before allopathic interventions. Peggy has devoted her career to helping people better themselves, their health, and their lives. Connect with Peggy on LinkedIn.